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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Distribute and monetize your animations online

Author Topic: Distribute and monetize your animations online
Member # 3401

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Hi guys,

I wanted to start a dialog and hopefully get you guys on board. I spoke to an AN staffer and she told me to feel free to contact you guys and tell you about our start-up,

I'll keep this short and I can answer questions through this thread.

Grapeflix is an online community of content creators and consumers of professionally-produced content in the Internet.

We are not an online catalog of content.

We are looking for all kinds of content, animation content included. Now, we are not a distributor. In fact, it is you, the animators that will distribute your content through your own online theater at Grapeflix. We will provide you the support and tools to distribute your animation as digital streams/downloads.

How are we different from the rest:

1. You control all aspects of distribution, including pricing your content as a stream, rental, and/or purchase download.

2. This is non-exclusive. You can bail out anytime.

3. We will protect your content with DRM technology.

4. You keep 75-80% of revenues you make when someone pays to stream, rent, or purchase your animation.

5. We will provide all the front end and back end support to help you distribute content on your online theater at Grapeflix.

Your big question might be - how will people know about your animations. Well, because we are not an online catalogue but a community, we will proactively promote groups of films to relevant online audiences. We will create the buzz around your films and hopefully attract an audience that will pay for them.

But we also need your support. We need you guys to put your content on Grapeflix. There are no upfront costs or fees to set up your online theater.

I hope you will heed this call. And I am here to answer any of your questions via this thread.

If you have questions that you'd like to ask offline, you can e-mail us


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Member # 3401

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Here's a sample guys of what you can do on Grapeflix:

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IE # 13
Member # 914

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I see a few small problems with the site:

It requires that people pay money to see stuff. It competes with vast amounts of free, entertaining content, available on thousands of websites. It also competes with piracy of Hollywood product. Latest figures show 16 million people downloaded movies illegally last month in the US alone, for free. It's hard to compete with that.

Grapeflix requires the use of Internet Explorer.
My web logs show that my traffic is sometimes over 30% browsers other than IE. So far for January IE is running at 60%. I use IE only under duress. My bank and utility companies have finally come around, and now I can use Firefox for dealing with them. When I see the IE only warning and it's not on an essential site, I leave. "Creative types" are more likely than the general public to use Firefox, or its relatives the Seamonkey and Mozilla suites. You're automatically bouncing a large part of the short-subject consuming audience away by locking out non-IE users.

The video files are DRM-protected. That almost always gets in the way of convenient use. When I download video files I like, I convert them and compile them on DVDs. DRM is designed to prevent that.

The latest version of Windows Media Player is intrusive. On some PCs, it disables CD burning and ripping. Users who keep up with these issues won't install it. I use the free MPU and GOM players for unprotected WMV files. Lots of people do.

Best of luck with the site anyway. The interface is good. If Grapeflix can overcome the issues I mention above, I'll check it out again. New venues that can generate income are great.

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Member # 3401

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Hi FP - -thanks for your post. Some quick thoughts:

1. Sure, there maybe a lot of free, entertaining content out there but there are different markets out there. If there is a site that can come up with great, professionally produced content which at the get-go is known by the public as a pay site - - then it will precisely attract that audience because there isn't other sites that would offer such content.

There will come a point when the free sites aren't gonna survive by the sheer cost of transmission. The advertising model isn't taking off either because of tons of sites out there (and so the fragmented market gives power to the advertisers to dictate the lowest ad prices).

Anyway, we have seen some films on the site that already are making revenues - -and at a time when we even haven't actively marketed content.

Free will not only be the game in town. To animators with valuable content - - you have an ally in Grapeflix because we will help you monetize your content.

2. The browser argument - - of course, you're right that their are other browser users out there. But we didn't choose IE because we're Microsoft die-hards. It just so happens that DRM technology - -which is the only commercially available technology right now to protect your content - - - works with IE.

The point is - - there are still tons of IE users out there. So why even dump them as a potential market.

And for Firefox users - -and trust me - - I am a die-hard Firefox user - - - - -the site works with Firefox. You can browse and go to the site with Firefox. The only time you need to switch is when you will purchase content. Sure, it's an inconvenience - - -but not an impossibility.

Hopefully, in the future, as technology develops - - then everything becomes browser-blind. In the meantime, we have to work within the limits of current technology.

Again - -we are not locking out non-IE users. The site works with Firefox. And Filmmakers can open their theaters using Firefox. It's just that for viewing/purchasing purposes, online consumers will have to switch to IE.

3. I totally understand your frustration with DRM. In fact, Bill Gates has his own frustration with the technology. Personally, right now, that's the only way to balance the rights of filmmakers/animators to distribute their stuff under a regime where IP rights are respected and the rights of people to watch. I have heard the debate about DRM and its restrictions. Again, I know how frustrated online consumers can sometimes get.

But to the animators out there who want to get there work out there - - - think hard about how you want to distribute content.

For free - - you don't monetize your stuff. Chances are, you either sell your rights for a small fee or you get advertising revenues (which really isn't happening for most at this point).

Unprotected - - -you might as well give your valuable content out there for free.

For a price/protected - - you monetize your content and you protect it too.

Anyway - -I understand there are different types of filmmakers out there. What Grapeflix is offering is a different paradigm. You can either play the current game in town (viral, freebies) or you can try something different.

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Matt Wilson
IE # 139
Member # 1520

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This seems like a pretty decent setup, considering the only other way to do something like this was either:

A) Set up a Paypal-based page to sell your material, which is incredibly exploitable and pointless.

B) Use BitPass to store your video files and sell them. BitPass just shut down this week, so that option is out.

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Member # 7

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Bumping this up with a thanks to Greg from for joining AN and for bringing this to the attention of our community.


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Member # 3401

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Thanks Charles for the push!

We got a lot of visits last week and this week and I assume a lot of them were from people in the Animation Nation forums. So thank you for checking us out.

However, I would really like to start this dialog with animators out there with works currently on DVD or just lying around in your computer or room. If you have professionally-produced content - -then perhaps we are a fit.

We are seeking those with professionally-produced shorts/features to try us out. It's non-exclusive and no upfront costs. You will keep 75-80% of the revenues you make (based on prices you indicate for your content). You can bail out anytime.

I certainly would like to talk to those among you interested individually. Send an e-mail to biz-dev at grapeflix dot com ( and we can talk.

We certainly want to have you guys/gals with such content on board.


I saw the posts regarding YouTube. Here's the deal guys - - - -right now, the battle for monetization is still ongoing. What's the right model, etc. The thing with an ad model is this - - - the market is so fragmented with millions of videos out there - - -that likely, ad prices for videos will be very, very low. Call it Buyer power - -the advertisers have the power because there are simply too many videos. The winner in this scenario will still be YouTube because they get a cut from all ad revenues. But filmmakers who want to use YouTube and are expecting to get a lot are likely not to get much out of revenues. Assuming that a professionally-produced animation short or feature gets 100,000 hits, and you get 50% of that, and let's say an advertiser pays 1 cent per unique view, that'll be around $500. And this for an investment of 10 grand or more to make your short/feature.

Anyway - -that's just an analysis and a point of view I am throwing out there. Economics (supply and demand) is something that will still determine a lot of things.

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